Participatory grantmaking is more than a process or transaction. It's a democratic gathering that centers humanity and expertise in its myriad forms for more effective and equitable decision-making and more expansive relationship-building. It's also a strategy to shift the status quo of how grantmaking and philanthropy are traditionally done by directing money to the people and organizations that are best supporting their communities. As individuals, participatory grantmaking is an opportunity to be moved, to be changed. To feel, shift and evolve. Together. 

In an effort to capture the essence of the participatory grantmaking process each year, an artist participates on the grantmaking committee and creates an artistic reflection of the experience that is informed and inspired by everyone in the room. Art is directly connected to action - it touches our hearts and calls us to action in unique ways beyond reports and numbers. And art is one way we are working to listen to and hear community and help advocate for what they are sharing with us. It is our hope that you will be moved to action by the artistic reflections below.

The Exchange

Writer, Performer and Engineer: TeRay Esquibel
Producer: Orion Creates
Artwork: Avery Esquibel-Valle, age 13
Inspired by the 2023 cohort of AJL Foundation Grant Partners and Grantmaking Committee
Meet the 2023 grantmaking committee and 2023 grant partners

It is always about the Collective

a live scribe poetic reflection by Molina Speaks
as informed by the 2022-23 Cohort of AJL Grantees
Image credit: Fannypack 
Music by DJ Icewater 
Meet the 2022 grantmaking committee and 2022 grant partners

WE (A Litany)

a live scribe poetic reflection by Adrian H Molina 
as informed by the 2021-22 Cohort of AJL Grantees
Image credit: Terah (9th grade)
Meet the 2021 grantmaking committee and 2021 grant partners

Recipe for Philanthropy: A Message from AJL's 2020 Grant Partners

An Open Holiday Recipe for Philanthropy
a live scribe poetic reflection by Adrian H Molina
as informed by the 2020 Class of AJL Grantees
Video credit: Dope Mom Life
Meet the 2020 grantmaking committee and 2020 grant partners

You can learn more about our participatory grantmaking process here:  AJL Foundation: Shifting Decision-making to Affected Communities through Participatory Grantmaking

Don't hesitate to reach out to Community Investments Manager Allia Alrodan at with any questions or feedback.